Ever wondered how much power one word can hold? Local food, local music, local materials, local art, local craftsmanship. LOCAL. It’s the magic dust that brings the illusion of better quality to everything it touches. From the way you experience a new place to the food you eat and the furniture you buy, it’s all better when it’s local. But what does local actually mean? When can you describe something or someone as local? It’s about time we get behind this overused and over-worshipped adjective that has the power to turn frogs into princes and pumpkins into carriages. Get ready to scratch the surface and find out how local became the new black!
When it comes to food, the benefits are obvious. The closer it grows, the less it has to travel. The less it has to travel, the less time it’ll spend on the road. The less time it spends on the road, the less pesticides and antibiotics you have to stuff it with to survive the trip. In the case of food, local really is better! Being able to buy locally grown stuff really makes a difference for your health, your energy levels, your mood, even your taste buds. Ever compared a Spanish tomato from the supermarket with a Spanish tomato in Spain? Then you’ll know what we mean.
But what about experiences? Major tourist destinations attract visitors of all shapes and sizes who bring with them all kinds of expectations, travel plans, budgets and tastes. But what seems to turn all of their heads is that word again. Local. Eat like a local, experience the city through the eyes of a local, party like a local, drink like a local, as long as it’s local it’s gotta be great. No matter what you want, you want it to be like a local would have it! The world is too big for us to cover, so we’ll stick to our local grounds (pun intended). Not to mention that the world Berliner seems to be just as abused as the word local, so let’s kill two birds with one stone and uncover what it really means to be a local Berliner (another pun intended, a bit cheesy, we know, bear with us).
In such a big city with so many different faces it’s hard to clearly define what a local is. Is it making it inside Berghain more than 10 times, trying every döner under the sun or being able to down 10 späti beers without blinking? Or is it being an expert in WG living and surviving 48h or partying? Knowing Berlin has a bit of a different concept attached compared to other popular city-scapes around Europe. Probably the best part of moving here is the fact that Berlin will not judge, impose or demand anything. It adjusts to your personal idea of what you want your Berlin life to look, feel, sound and smell like. But there are some things only a native born-and-bred Berliner would do.
If it’s Sunday and the temperature is anything above freezing, flea markets are the place to be. Each neighborhood has one, but the absolute winner has to be Mauerpark. From food through bike parts to discovering the next Susan Boyle, it really has it all. After you’re done rummaging, refresh yourself with a Club Mate, a Spezi or a Bionade, sparkly juices run soft drinks culture of Berlin. Guides say curry wurst is the original Berlin street food, but UX laughs while sinking their teeth into a kebab, the REAL Berlin street grub!
Then there’s the clubbing. What makes Berliners stand out in a club crowd is the lack of shock on their faces. They’ve seen it all, from naked to tattooed beyond recognition, hair of all colors, shapes and lengths, let’s not go into outfits…bottom line is, Berlin is an open city and growing up in it means you’ve seen everything imaginable.
So if we absolutely had to use one word to describe the uniting factor of all true Berliners it would be